Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not new year's resolutions updates

I can't believe we're two weeks into March.  That means I'm half-way through the semester (yay!), spring is coming (yay!), and I've been at my job almost a year (longest job I've ever had...).  Also, my birthday is in two months--which sounds great, but my 26th birthday is also the day I get kicked off my parents' awesome health plan and I'm all on my own in the scary world of health insurance.

But that's a different post.

The point of today's post is a progress update on my not new year's resolutions.  Back in February I made a list of 10 goals for February, March, and April, and I thought this would be a good time to revisit that list and see what I've accomplished, what's in progress, and what I've completely forgotten about.

10 goals for February, March, and April

1. Make two new recipes a month out of cookbooks I already own
Well, in February I made one new recipe out of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.  I even have photos and the beginning of a blog post about it.  So, mini-goal for March is to do two more recipes and to actually post about the February recipe.

2. Start an embroidery project
Started!  And neglected for a few weeks, but started!  This is another thing I meant to post about....

3. Go to class and do my homework
Success!  I've missed a few classes (who hasn't?), and studying for midterms was a bit overwhelming.  But my papers are in and I think the exams went well, so yay me!

4. Do something active 3x/week (gym or something else!)
For motivation, I signed up for a 5k!  And since I signed up three weeks ago I've actually gone to the gym (almost) every other day.  Feeling good!

5. Follow my new chore chart (a post on this coming up)
So far complete fail, but we're working on it.  Starting this week, I swear!

6. Write and mail three letters
I've written one.  And then it turned into a care package.  That I haven't finished yet.  So it hasn't been sent.  This is a good reminder.

7. Bake a loaf of bread
Okay, this one should be checked off.  I tried--twice.  It turns out that my apartment is too cold at the moment for bread to rise, so this goal is going on hold for a few months.  I was going to post photographic evidence, but Linn cleaned out the bowl, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  I'm going to give myself an honorary check mark.

8. Hang art on walls (I have the art, it needs to go on the walls)
Well, we've figured out where we're hanging the art, it's just not quite up yet.

9. Create an "official" budget with Linn
Linn wanted to take the first step on creating this, and he has started to put some numbers together.  Next step is to have a real chat about it.  Any budgeting advice is appreciated!

10. Plan a vacation!
So far there's only been dreaming....  I think I need to complete #9 first.

I think I'm doing pretty well!  Almost everything has been started, or at least contemplated.  I'll check-in a few weeks from now with an update.

Have you been following your (not) new year's resolutions?


Samantha said...

Good luck on all your goals! Sounds like you're off to a good start!

A saving tip that I have used that I picked up by working at a Credit Union for a few years: When you receive your regular paycheck, "save the change". For example, if your paycheck is $972.47, put $72.47 into a separate savings account, and keep the even $900 for bills and other miscellaneous things. It adds up quicker than you think!

Good luck!

Nora said...

I highly recommend Elizabeth Warren's book "All Your Worth."

Lina said...

Sam--That's a great idea!

Nora--thanks for the tip. I'll definitely check out the book.

Anonymous said...

I like this!!
Re: #6-- do you remember the summer when we exchanged postcards?
Re: #9-- Budgeting is really D's area of expertise. We even saved during times of unemployment, no kidding. Let me know if you want to learn his spreadsheet method next time you're in VA.

Richard said...

Great to hear you are staying on top of these (mostly). Keep up the good school work! (a "dad" comment - couldn't help myself).....

Anonymous said...

Good work Lina! I'm most looking forward to seeing your recipes. I could also use some inspiration to hang up the framed pictures we have sitting in a pile on the floor of the guest bedroom. Why is it so hard to deal with that!

Sarah, I'm interested in D's budgeting tricks!

-Caroline K

Sidonie said...

Hey Lina!

On bread-making--It's cold here, too, and we were having some trouble getting our breads to rise. I tried something that seems to be working, maybe you can test it out, too.

Once the dough is made and the bowl is covered with plastic or a cloth or whatever you normally do, fill a basin with a couple inches of warm water. Place the dough bowl in that, and cover the basin with a lightweight towel to keep the heat and moisture in. For us, the bread's been rising about double the size this way.

Of course, this won't work for a bench rise or if you're using a wooden bread bowl that shouldn't sit in water. :) Hopefully it helps.

Good luck with your goals!

PS. More bread-making and home-making, of course, at sidonie.com.

Lina said...

Sido--that's a great idea, thank you! And I love your blog :-)

Berthica said...

Hi Beanie,

I love your blog and am delighting in your writing. When you can, please send me your and Linn's home address.

As for the bread issue, I have three suggestions:
1) If you have a gas (rather than an electric oven), try letting your dough rise in there. The warmth radiating from the pilot light is often enough to get those little yeasties going. I did this a lot in Montana with great success. If electric, you can turn the oven on super low and then turn it off until it cools to where you want it and place your bowl to rise in the off oven.

2) If you have radiators, you can also place your pan or bowl right on one (assuming, of course, that your heat is on a bit!). I've actually done this right here in Purcellville, and it is also how I make my crème fraiche…

3) If all else fails, make your mom's blueberry cobbler… no rising needed (:>). YUM.

Lina said...

Doing it in the oven is a good idea! I tried with our gas oven on really low and it was too hot and the top kind of cooked and the rest was raw. I didn't think that the pilot light might be enough! Sadly our radiators don't work very well (that's why the apartment's been so cold...). The good news is that it's almost 70 degrees here, so maybe it will work now!